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First USpeak of spring semester features award-winning Vancouver poet Rita K. Wong

6:00 pm

The 2011 spring semester USpeak season kicks off on Friday, January 28 with a reading by poet Rita K. Wong and an open mic session.

Wong is the author of three books of poetry: Sybil Unrest, co-written with Larissa Lai (Line Books, 2008); Forage(Nightwood, 2007); and Monkeypuzzle (Press Gang, 1998). She received the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop Emerging Writer Award in 1997 for Monkeypuzzleand the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2008 for Forage. Wong teaches in Critical and Cultural Studies at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She received a fellowship from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society to develop a course on contemplating water. Wong is currently researching the poetics of water with the support of a Research/Creation grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (

Wong’s performance will be preceded by an open mic session, during which audience members are invited to share a page of their writing with USpeak’s ever-growing, always appreciative audience.

The event takes place at the Oasis Deli in the Whitten University Center on Friday, January 28. Doors open at 6 p.m., with light refreshments and cookies provided. The program begins at 6:30 p.m., with the featured reading starting at 7 p.m.

USpeak events are free and open to the public, sponsored, in part, by UM’s Department of English, the Creative Writing Program, and Auxiliary Services.

Rescheduling note:The February 25 USpeak, “Movietelling Night: Poets Redub Famous Films,” has been rescheduled for Friday, March 4.

The USpeak series will continue during the spring semester with events on March 11 and April 15. For more information, please visit, where you can also link to Podcasts of previous USpeaks.

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